KDIA 1310 Logo (1984)

Oakland’s KDIA Lucky 13 Named 2018 Legendary Station

The Bay Area Radio Museum and Hall of Fame, in cooperation with the California Historical Radio Society and the Broadcast Legends, is proud to announce that KDIA Radio (1310 AM) of Oakland has been named as the recipient of its Legendary Station Award for 2018.

KDIA, which began its life as the amateur station 6XAM in Oakland about one-hundred years ago, was the premiere radio station in serving the Bay Area’s vast African-American audience in the years following World War II, when it was known as KWBR, and well into the 1990s.

The station, which marketed itself as “KDIA Lucky 13” and “Boss Soul Radio,” played a central role in the community during the turbulent 1960s, as Oakland and the Bay Area became a focal point for the Civil Rights movement, the War on Poverty, the rise of the Black Panthers, and social unrest in the wake of the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the protests against the war in Vietnam.

KDIA Music Survey (Image)
KDIA Music Survey (May 20, 1966)

Beyond its role as a powerful voice in the community, KDIA was also the go-to station for listeners seeking the solid sound of Soul Music – regardless of their ethnicity. Whether it was James Brown, The Supremes, The Impressions, Aretha Franklin, The Four Tops, The Temptations, Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, Wilson Pickett – the list could go on forever – you weren’t cool unless your radio was set to KDIA!

That cool was delivered by a supremely talented team of announcers and news people, including “Big Daddy” Don Barksdale (BARHOF 2007), Belva Davis (BARHOF ’07), Bouncin’ Bill Doubleday (BARHOF ’11), Chuck “Buggs” Scruggs, Jumpin’ George Oxford (BARHOF ’06), Bob Jones, Johnny Morris, Sly Stone, John Hardy, Bill Hall, Bob White, Rosko (William Roscoe Mercer), Roland Porter, Wally Ray, Brother Louis Freeman, Sam Skinner, Marlon Scott (Alonzo Miller), Barry Pope, Alvin John Waples, Lady P.J. Ballard, Doug Cass and Al Moreland, to name but a few.

Alvin John Waples and P.J. Ballard (Photo)
Alvin John Waples and P.J. Ballard at KDIA
KDIA Building (1976 Photo)
The KDIA studio building at the Bay Bridge Toll Plaza, circa 1976


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21 July 2018 1:19 PM

[…] KDIA (Lucky 13), Oakland — One of the truly legendary stations in the history of American radio, KDIA was a pioneer in specifically serving one of the largest African American audiences in the nation. Click here to read more. […]

1 August 2018 12:55 PM

[…] KDIA (Lucky 13), Oakland — One of the truly legendary stations in the history of American radio, KDIA was a pioneer in specifically serving one of the largest African American audiences in the nation. Beginning its life on the airwaves from Oakland in 1920 as experimental amateur station 6XAM, it became KLS in 1922, and KWBR in 1945 — all under the ownership of founders (and brothers) Stafford and Eugene Warner. The Warner brothers sold the station to Sonderling Broadcasting in 1959, at which time it became KDIA and embarked on its greatest period of growth, popularity and influence. Click here to read more about KDIA. […]

les may
les may
13 January 2019 3:04 PM

I was a toll collector, on the Bay Bridge, 1962 to 1968. I had to pleasure of meeting Chuck Scruggs, during a break. I just missed Muhammad ALI , when he visited the radio studio. Known as the “Twister”, I won dance contests, at Don Barksdale’s Sportsman Club, in Oakland,Ca. And the Time Out Club, on Telegraph Ave, Oakland, Ca..

Troy Tannyhill
Troy Tannyhill
13 March 2019 11:46 AM

My mom, Sylvia Davis was one of the host of Black Montage in the late 60’s. I remember her taking me and my sister to tour the radio station.

20 February 2021 10:34 AM

Took a History of Broadcasting class at College of San Mateo in the Fall of 1994. One of our projects was to interview a Station Manager somewhere in the Bay Area and I choose KDIA (Since I was listening to it due to having AM only and a 8 track in my car). They were incredibly hospitable when asked to interview them about radio questions, plus they offered me some cake to eat.

My Music Block TV Awards
3 February 2022 8:59 PM

The Manuel Sisters performed for Al Moreland at his many shows in the San Fransisco Bay including evergreen and new mt herman baptist church